Beloved policer officer retires to return to military

PC Carl Brandwood at Mildenhall police station

Pc Carl Brandwood is retiring from Suffolk police after more than 20 years of service - Credit: Suffolk police

A Suffolk officer who won a number of awards for bravery has retired from policing to go back to the military - after leading an extraordinary life serving the public for decades.

Pc Carl Brandwood joined the army as a teenager and spent then next 14 years serving in Bosnia, Germany, Canada and the Gulf, building a wealth of experience with the Royal Tank Regiment, the Royal Engineers and qualifying as a military diver.

PC Carl Brandwood of Suffolk police is retiring

Pc Brandwood said his favourite part of the job was changing lives - Credit: PC Carl Brandwood

After moving to East Harling, in Norfolk, 21 years ago,  the Yorkshireman joined Suffolk police - starting off as beat manager in Haverhill, before working in the firearms team at Bury and then the response team at Forest Heath.

"The best thing about the job is purely the variety of work you get to do," the 53-year-old said.

"You're responsible as part of a team but also as yourself — there are situations where you're there alone and while you know back up is coming, it's all on you for a crucial 15 to 20 minutes.


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"It's a good challenge, you can get the chance to change someone's life and make a difference."

PC Carl Brandwood of Suffolk police is retiring

The military veteran served on many overseas tours - Credit: PC Carl Brandwood

In 2010, Pc Brandwood was awarded a chief constable's commendation for disarming a man who was pointing a rifle at his colleague.

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He has also achieved another commendation, two area merit awards and one for physical education.

He said while there are moments which stand out, such as when he pulled someone off a bridge parapet and potentially saved their life, as an experienced officer the most joy comes from seeing others experience the highs of the job for the first time.

Having also served in the Police Support Unit, he policed the London Olympics, the 2019 Hells Angels UK Rally and many other notable events.

PC Carl Brandwood doing the Snowdonia 7's police event

Pc Brandwood with colleagues doing the Snowdonia 7's police event, which he completed nine times - Credit: PC Carl Brandwood

Inspector Mark Shipton had the privilege of working with Pc Brandwood in the most recent years of his career and said: "I have no doubt that he has had a positive impact on many people's lives, whether that be directly or indirectly throughout his career and will continue to do so.

"He will be greatly missed by his colleagues and peers, but having also served in the Armed Forces I am sure he now deserves to hang up his uniform with pride."

After completing his last shift with Mildenhall police next Tuesday, Pc Brandwood will be heading back to the military to take on a role at a nearby army training area.

The cake made for PC Brandwood in honour of his retirement from Suffolk police

The cake made for Pc Brandwood in honour of his retirement from Suffolk police - Credit: Suffolk police

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